HMS Warspite

Ship

Seven ships of the Royal Navy have been named Warspite. The origins of the name are unclear, although it is probably from the Elizabethan spelling of the word 'spite' -- i.e. 'spight' -- in part embodying contempt for the Navy's enemies, but which was also the common name for the green woodpecker, suggesting the 'Warspight' would poke holes in enemy ships' (wooden) hulls. Until 1919 a woodpecker was used as the ships' crest; the official badge was a cannon, although the woodpecker continued to be used on the ships' tompions or gun muzzle plugs.

Seven ships of the Royal Navy have been named Warspite. The origins of the name are unclear, although it is probably from the Elizabethan spelling of the word 'spite' -- i.e. 'spight' -- in part embodying contempt for the Navy's enemies, but which was also the common name for the green woodpecker, suggesting the 'Warspight' would poke holes in enemy ships' (wooden) hulls. Until 1919 a woodpecker was used as the ships' crest; the official badge was a cannon, although the woodpecker continued to be used on the ships' tompions or gun muzzle plugs.

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